When it’s time for a new IT service provider

February 25th, 2008

IT Consultant on the Phone

The selection of a new IT service provider for any organization is something that must be approached with caution, and diligence. Too often we hear of companies that bear the burden of a poor choice by way of frustration, poor staff morale, or even catastrophic data loss!

The truth is, it’s a common scenario – and up to 60% of Connected Intelligence’s Virtual IT™ clients were once unfortunate members of this demographic.

The purpose of this article is to outline the key considerations for this decision, as well as providing some examples of how Connected Intelligence’s service is geared at the avoidance of such disappointment.

Day to day needs

Ultimately, the fundamental objective in choosing a new IT service provider is to meet the day to day IT requirements of your organization.

In simple terms, your network is made up of several parts; the desktop computers that your office staff use, the notebook computers that your remote staff use, the server(s) that everyone uses and the nuts and bolts that bring it all together (such as network switches, firewalls and routers). Key to your business staying online and productive, is the availability of these parts, and the appropriate support should an interruption occur.

It’s all too common

All too common in Australian Small to Medium sized organizations is the cross allocation of a full time staff member (whether they’re from marketing, accounts or otherwise) – it’s a recipe for unstable systems, unhappy staff and a disgruntled and overworked staff member who is completely out of their depth.

A day in the life of an office of this type will consist of repeated IT hiccups, with no long term solution implemented. The formula for poor staff morale is recurring problems of this nature and inevitably fosters an attitude of “why can’t they just get it right?” within employees.

This problem is compounded when a third party, external IT contractor is depended on for the resolution of “more complex” issues. He, individually or as a part of usually a small team, will be scarcely available and your pressing IT issues will become secondary to his work schedule.

In keeping with the general disarray of the IT environment we’re describing is all manner of server based time-bombs, imminent failures and potentially deficient or completely non-existent data backups.

A costly exercise

The cost of downtime is often overlooked as being impossible to quantify and hence unworthy of consideration. After all, why plan for the worst? This attitude is common, and its by-product is a certainty. Downtime, unless proactively avoided, is inevitable. The calculation of the cost in such an event can be made at a broad level, by calculating the number of unproductive staff that would result from a server failure, and multiplying that number by their hourly rate of pay.

For example, if ABC Enterprises was to experience a server failure today their 10 staff with an average hourly rate of pay of $22.00 (or $40,000 per annum) would cost the company $220.00 per hour. With an average time to restoration of 4 hours, the cost of this episode would be $880.00.

The above estimate is based purely on the wage costs throughout the period of downtime and completely ignores the cost of lost opportunities or revenues for the period, wasted fixed operating costs such as electricity and tenancy expenses and impact on staff morale – working in a less than ideal IT environment. The example also works on the assumption that your time to restoration is only 4 hours – which in reality with the vast majority of “small” IT service providers is unrealistically fast.

Always knowing what’s around the corner

The element of surprise in an IT context is far from welcome. It represents potentially immense cost, loss of revenues, stress on employees and impacted morale and almost always is the result of an absence of support and adequate planning.

Connected Intelligence’s Virtual ITDepartment abolishes the element of surprise, applying a concise and proven methodology to the daily servicing of your IT needs and employees, at a fixed monthly cost with absolutely no scope for unwanted surprises. We believe that budgeting and operational planning are intrinsic to the success of any organization and our clients all agree.

A distinct advantage

A compelling advantage of the Connected Intelligence Virtual IT™ service, is the setting it provides for honesty. We take comfort in the fact that we have one objective in servicing you – with no potential for a conflict of interests. Whilst other IT companies may provide advice that’s slightly “skewed” by the affect of that advice on their revenues or KPI targets, our price is fixed and all we have to worry about is ensuring your systems run smoothly, and your staff receives the support they need – it’s that simple.

Pictures speak louder than words

For more information on Connected Intelligence’s acclaimed Virtual IT™ Department, please take a few minutes to watch the Virtual IT™ Video Presentation. Pricing and Service information is accessible at the completion of the presentation of by visiting the Cost Calculator.

Customers speak louder than pictures

Testament to the incredible success of our Virtual IT™ Department are our client retention statistics. Our clients are our biggest fans, and they’re always willing to testify to this fact! If you’re interested in joining the growing number of Australian companies backed by the Connected Intelligence Virtual IT™ Department, please contact our Client Services Team directly and we will happily provide you with references from our long list of satisfied clients.

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